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Tips for Staying at University over Christmas

Neil Smith, the UK Managing Director of student living specialists Scape, shares a few tips on how to keep up the festive cheer even when staying on campus or at your accommodation. 

Get involved in virtual Christmas celebrations

Nothing says Christmas more than a festive masterclass or fun-filled Christmas themed event. With current restrictions making celebrations tricky, there are a whole host of affordable virtual events that companies are offering for people to sign up to. You may jazz up your evening with a virtual backstage pass to the Royal Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker broadcast for free on YouTube, or attend a masterclass on how to make a gingerbread man garland or marshmallows and hot chocolate with John Lewis, and much more.

There are many different options to choose from. Make a schedule of events to keep yourself busy, and have events to look forward to each day over the coming weeks. A schedule of fun festive events is guaranteed to keep you cheerful. Attending an event each day will also ensure you are taking regular breaks from studying for your upcoming exams.

Explore the city

University cities and towns are most picturesque around Christmas – the streets are adorned in twinkling lights and dazzling decorations. Do not stay in your room all day long. Take a few walks in the afternoons to witness the sights and experience the festive surroundings near campus. Going outdoors is also a great chance to safely meet and socialise with others while keeping your social distance. If your friends have headed home for the break, take the time to find out who is also staying in your building by posting on your residents’ platform or social group. Make sure to let them know you are around and would be interested in going out for walks to explore the city. It will be a great way to meet new friends and remain social over the Christmas period.

*Make sure you are keeping your social distancing and are going out in small groups. This is also less recommendable given the most recent development of the situation and the official announcement of London entering Tier 4. 

Stay in touch with loved ones

Having had two national lockdowns, we have all become overly familiar with online video calling platforms such as Zoom. Whilst it is important to use these platforms to organise regular face-to-face virtual catchups to keep up with family and friends, do ensure you’re not spending too long on the video platforms, as it can be draining.

Organise a festive themed catch-up by exchanging presents that you have sent each other via post or organising a Christmas quiz filled with festive music and movie trivia. Moreover, the Netflix Party platform is a great way to schedule Christmas movie nights with friends. Get yourself some popcorn and snuggle up watching a film like Elf or Love Actually – all whilst chatting and laughing along virtually with your peers!

Decorate your student space

While it might just be you who will see the inside of your room over the next couple of weeks, you can still dress up your space to make it feel festive – even if it is just for yourself to enjoy! Festive decorations and lights will automatically cheer you up and help you get into the Christmas spirit. Get yourself some bright lights and decorations that will be easy to hang from the wall. If you are feeling crafty, make some of your own using red string, candy canes, holly or a mistletoe.

Rest up

Try to enjoy the downtime that you have and get some much-needed rest following a busy term. Once students return in January and exam season starts, your schedule is likely to get busy fast, so enjoy some self-care to ensure you feel ready once the new term starts. Adopting a few simple self-care steps in the morning and at night can have multiple benefits, including more restful sleep, increased feelings of tranquility, and lower levels of anxiety. They will also help combat lethargy and lack of focus when studying for your exams.

Try to get some exercise and stretching in each day, as well as eating healthily when you can. Meditating is also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as having a digital detox, where you take some time off your phone each day. Remember that it is okay to ask for help if you are feeling lonely or anxious. To seek help, students should consult with a general practice doctor or call an appropriate helpline that can deal with and recognise mental health issues.

These tips were written prior to the most recent developments of the Covid-19 pandemic and prior to the outbreak of the more contagious strain in London. Make sure you are keeping safe and are following the government advice in case you decide to follow any of the tips. Neither Roar nor Scape take responsibility of the readers’ actions.  

 

Neil Smith

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